Saturday evening’s Cage Fury Fighting Championship event, CFFC 81, marked the first time that I watched a card from CFFC wall-to-wall.
In the aftermath of the card, I have to say that I’m very glad that I did.
CFFC 81 filled the void on the night before the Super Bowl—a night where the Ultimate Fighting Championship traditionally holds an event—quite well.
The evening began, as it oftentimes does on CFFC fight nights, with the amateur undercard fights live-streamed on the Cage Fury Facebook page—which brings us to the first major point that I want to make:
Point #1: Amateur mixed martial arts fights in Cage Fury are known as Next Gen and Advanced Next Gen, respectively.
Next Gen fights are three rounds at two minutes apiece, with Advanced Next Gen fights going the traditional amateur maximum of three rounds at three minutes per round.
Fighters who compete in the Next Gen ranks do so while wearing protective pads on their shins, while Advanced Next Gen fighters have such padding removed.
I really like the name.
These fighters who are working their way through the Next Gen ranks of Cage Fury are the future of mixed martial arts and could one day become the next stalwart of the UFC, just as so many other former Cage Fury athletes have done already.
Point #2: The pacing of CFFC 81 was very orderly.
Counting the Next Gen fights and the main card fights, this event took slightly over four hours to complete, which isn’t all that bad.
As has been mentioned on this Website before, a good MMA event should not take all night to complete.
For comparative purposes, two of Bellator MMA cards based on the West Coast that had a series of postlims after the main event took more than seven hours each to complete all told.
Case in point: The Apr. 27 Bellator 220 card in San Jose did not end until close to 3 a.m. EDT the morning of Apr. 28.
That night’s card had 18 total fights.
The following September, back inside SAP Center, Bellator 226 had 20 fights in totality.
Point #3: The championship format in Cage Fury is unique.
If you haven’t watched a Cage Fury card before, professional title fights are four rounds at five minutes apiece.
Should it be deemed necessary, a fifth round will be held for overtime to decide the champion.
As it turned out, a fifth round was a moot point for all three such title fights.
However, the title fights on Saturday night proved to bring two unfortunate baubles to close the evening’s proceedings.
Although Herbeth Souza unseated Alexander Keshtov as champion in the CFFC Bantamweight title fight, he was unable to claim the belt after missing weight at the weigh-in prior to the fight.
With this result, the belt is now vacant.
In the main event, Pat Sabatini looked to defend the Featherweight championship against James Gonzales, a late replacement for Mauro Chaulet, who withdrew from the card, but Sabatini lost the belt by first-round TKO because of injury.
The now-former champion sustained a broken arm during the fight.
All of us here at Armchair wish Pat Sabatini the best in his recovery.
Watching a regional MMA promotion is always an exciting thing for me.
It gives me a chance to examine fighters who could be major MMA champions in the future.
This having been said, Cage Fury Fighting Championship events are definitely worth the watch on UFC Fight Pass.
If, by chance, you missed CFFC 81 on Saturday night, it’s currently available for on-demand streaming on UFC Fight Pass.
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